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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 18:10 GMT
McDonald's food advert banned
A commercial for a McDonald's steak sandwich has been banned by television watchdogs for being misleading.

The sandwich looked better in the advert than in real life, said the Independent Television Commission (ITC), after investigating several customer complaints.

ITC staff tested several sandwiches and ruled that they contained less filling than the one in the commercial.

The fast food chain said it was "disappointed" with the ITC's decision.

McDonald's' advert agency said it had followed the food giant's recipe guidelines, but when ITC staff bought the product for themselves they found the quantity of the toppings varied considerably.

The advertisement, for McDonald's Steak Premiere, described it as "steak in ciabatta with chargrilled peppers, onions and a black pepper mayo".

However, four viewers complained that in their experience the product was flat and not as well filled with peppers and onions as the one in the commercial.

McDonald's later admitted that a proportion of the toppings had been moved to the edge of the bun for filming.

The ITC said this gave a misleading impression and ordered the fast food chain not to show the commercial again.

In a statement released to BBC News Online, McDonald's said: "In accordance with industry practice, when making this advert we followed the same guidelines, used the same equipment and used the same amount of ingredients as used by our restaurants every day when serving customers.

"We are pleased that these facts were accepted by the ITC but are disappointed with the ITC's overall decision.

"As Steak Premiere was only available in restaurants during the months of October 2002 through to January 2003, we consider the matter now closed."

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